We have a lot to share since our last update. First of all, our apologies for not updating sooner. We know our customers are anxious to receive their BumperBars, and you can trust us when we say we are just as anxious to deliver them. We wanted to wait until we had some tangible information to share, so here we go...
We received our first "Final" samples from the factory. All the molds were completed in February and a number of samples were produced. For the most part, we are very happy with the results. There are a few minor issues we are not thrilled about, so some minor modification to the molds have begun. As per our last updates, we had been targeting March or April (now) for delivery. Although we expected some hiccups and delays, we were optimistic we would hit that goal. Unfortunately, these issues were more numerous and lengthier than we could have anticipated. Below are few issues and solutions we have experienced over the past few months.
Logos - Our logo on the inside and outside of the lid is designed so that the letters are recessed. This is necessary because the inside of the lid is the work area and needs to be flat. We had our suspicions that printing a recessed logo could be a challenge but were assured that it was not an issue. So, imagine our surprise and disappointment when we were notified last month that their planned printing process would not work. Much back and forth later, thankfully a solution was found.
Lids - Shortly after the preliminary design of the BumperBar, due to much feedback, we realized for many reasons, lids for the garnish trays are a must. Using the clear plastic lids from our Yeti cups as model, we put our design engineer to work. Shortly after, we had our preliminary design. A set of five lids is included in the Deluxe BumperBar and are available for purchase separately. Unfortunately, the lids have also become a challenge. The current lid and seal design is not very tight, and the seals have a tendency to pop the lids off. We are working on a solution, so stay tuned on that. In order to not to cause any further delay, if you ordered a Deluxe Kit, or added lids to a Standard Kit, we will be shipping the lids without the seals and will send a new set of redesigned lids once they are completed. This will allow the use of the lids to keep the pesky bugs off your garnishes until our splash proof lids are ready and battle tested.
Loose Ends - A few other things to note. For a food grade product like ours, the two main material choices are ABS and polypropylene (PP). The factory sent us base and cover samples of each a few months ago for us to compare. We chose polypropylene for one main reason. It is a little softer and more pliable (or less brittle) than ABS. This increases the durability because it is less likely to break if dropped or distorted, and it provides a softer feel. The downside to polypropylene is it is slightly more susceptible to distortion once it comes out of the mold and cools. Although the first samples we received had very little distortion, the latest, final sample had more distortion than we would like. This has no effect on function, the issue is only cosmetic, but we want our product to be the best it can be, so they are working on some modifications to reduce the distortion as much as possible. We also noticed the garnish trays, organizer tray, and napkin tray fit are a little loose. It's not bad and most would never notice, but we are having them make the necessary adjustments, so they fit just right. These modifications are in process, and they are set to run new samples later this week.
On a positive note, we are thrilled with the quality of all our accessories. We have been using many of these vendors for a few years now for our Top Shelf and Call lines of BumperBars, but had to source a few new products for our new line.
Expected Delivery - As noted, we are happy with 90 plus percent of what we see, we just need a little more time to hammer a few things out. I feel like mid to late June is a realistic goal for delivery to our backers. I will know better next week when we see the latest samples, but we are hopeful we can make that happen. As we have said from the beginning, if these delays are too much for you or for any reason you have changed your mind, we will gladly give you a full refund, or give you a full credit (plus a discount) at BumperBar.com on our Top Shelf and Call BumperBar lines available to ship today. Simply message us here or Phil@BumperBar.com and we will process it right away.
Below are some photos of the latest sample. No cosmetic changes will be made from here, so what you see is what you get.
Shaker Kit - Included in Deluxe BumperBar
Jigger with Measurement Lines